Claire Jackson-Prior

‘Not fit for purpose’: Green Party candidate calling for voting system change

By Mark Stillman
December 9 2019, 21.50

Green Party candidate Claire Jackson-Prior has expressed her anger over the First Past the Post voting system.

Ms Jackson-Prior is standing her second election in Sutton and Cheam, having collected 871 of the area’s 51,970 votes in 2017.

The 46-year-old Sutton resident believes change is needed for a fairer outcome.

Ms Jackson-Prior said: “The voting system for General Elections is not fit for purpose.

“People find it difficult to vote for values they learned because they feel they have to vote against the values they dislike instead.

“It means that people’s views are not properly represented in Parliament. “I expect there to be some tactical voting.”

In four General Elections between 1992 and 2015, the Sutton and Cheam Green Party have collectively gained 2,612 votes, approximately a tenth of the total Conservatives received in the 2017 election alone.

Ms Jackson-Prior said: “It would always be nice to get more people from our party involved in debates on the television but I’m not entirely sure that’ll change any time soon.

“We need a greater access to gain a greater voice. With the Internet it’s easier to get your message across.

“For the Greens, I’m quite happy to be the person that says something totally weird!

“People ask at hustings why I don’t just leave and stop putting myself through it all.

“I was actually surprised how much sitting candidates do themselves. I thought the team would do a lot of it.

“You’ve just got to stand outside in the street sometimes and make your message clear.”

Ms Jackson-Prior also hinted that this could be her last election.

She said: “I won’t be grabbing hold of my position for dear life. I’d be willing to stand aside if someone wanted to have a go.

“If anybody said to me in 2015 I’d be candidate for a General Election I would have found it very amusing. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.

“I know some people take it in their stride. I can’t imagine ever getting to that point. My fellow local Green Party members are all aware that I am not personally politically ambitious.

“If any of my colleagues would like to stand as a candidate in a future General Election, I would be very happy to support them in any way I can.”

Read more about what’s important to south west London constituencies in our 24-page General Election preview special.

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